VIDEO: Athlete Gives His Homecoming Crown Away

Photo by Rachel Ellis on Unsplash

VIDEO: Athlete Gives His Homecoming Crown Away

English teacher Amy Finney applauded loudly when high school senior James Verpaele won the homecoming crown.

Verpaele, 17, then made the incredible move of giving his crown and sash to Parks, Finney’s developmentally disabled 19-year-old son. As Finney disclosed during the incident, there was not a single person not crying in the stadium.

Parks, who is also a student at Merritt Island High School in Florida, was born with Periventricular Leukomalacia, or PVL. PVL is a birth injury that is the result of lacking oxygen or blood flow to the brain. This has impaired Parks’ cognitive abilities and speech. However, despite all of this, Parks manages the softball and track and field teams in his school.

As Verpaele, a varsity football player, disclosed they call Parks the Mayor because he knows everyone. What’s more, he attends every game and is always there to help with anything they need and cheer them all on.

Verpaele had said that all six nominees had strongly felt that it was Parks, who was part of the homecoming court, that deserved to receive the title. He added that they had all decided that regardless of who won, they would give it to Parks because he deserved the crown. He also added that Parks is a friend to all of them and they “all love him.”

During the event, Parks had been confused to see Verpaele approach him, but then Verpaele guided him to the field. This was when everyone started crying and the whole crowd started chanting his name. Finney has praised the entire student body at Merritt Island High School for their warm embrace of her child.


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